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Obituaries

Louise Rapp, 1925-2009

The longtime Santa Barbara resident devoted her life to her family, her church and her service to others

On Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009, after a sudden illness, Louise Rapp went home to be with her Lord Jesus Christ and her husband, Ferd J. Rapp. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.

She was born Louise French on April 1, 1925, on a farm in St. John’s Parish near Elizabethtown, Ky. Born to parents Bernard and Stella French, Louise was one of seven children.

Louise Rapp
Louise Rapp

While working as a registered nurse, Louise met and married the love of her life, Ferd Rapp, in Louisville, Ky., on Aug. 2, 1952. Together they raised a family of six children, living for many years in West Covina, Calif. The family moved to Santa Barbara in 1970, upon Ferd’s promotion to special agent in charge of the Santa Barbara FBI office.

Ferd and Louise were devout Christians and active members of the Catholic Church throughout their married life, serving in the lay ministry at St. Barbara’s Parish, Old Mission Santa Barbara for more than 30 years. Louise is well-known for being a pioneer for adult religious education in the Santa Barbara Catholic community, and as the co-founder and coordinator of the inter-parish Word and Life Catholic women’s Bible study.

Louise’s passions were her family, her church and her service to others. She opened the doors to her home with her trademark smile and an enthusiasm that made all feel welcome and appreciated. In all things, Louise acted as true reflection of Christ’s love for us. After the loss of her husband, Ferd, in 2002, Louise embraced her new community at Maravilla, where she lived happily for the last seven years. Until her illness, Louise continued making rosaries to send to Catholic missionaries in underdeveloped countries, as she had faithfully done for more than 50 years.

Louise is survived by her six children and 13 grandchildren: Nancy Rapp of Santa Barbara; Bert and Renee Rapp (Jason, Teresa, Kevin and Andrew) of Oak View; Doris Rapp (Bryan) of Paso Robles; Mitch and Mary (Rapp) Moore, (Keric, Payton, Clare, Shane and Riley) of Santa Barbara; Paul and Laura Rapp (Kyle, Megan and Cory) of Rocklin; and Jim Rapp of Santa Barbara. She is also survived by two sisters: Nona Gabriel of Louisville, Ky., and Geri McGrady of Nashville, Tenn.

A celebration of Louise’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 at St. Raphael Catholic Church, 5444 Hollister Ave. in Goleta. An evening vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 at Welch-Ryce-Haider, 15 E. Sola St. in Santa Barbara.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Louise’s name to Our Lady’s Rosary Makers, 4611 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, KY 40213, or Transition House, 425 E. Cota St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Arrangements by Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.

— Michael Drake represents Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.

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